I knew leaving a large city (population of 165,000) and buying our first house in a small town (population of 5,500) would have some sort of affect on our finances…I just wasn’t sure how much.
Groceries and Personal Items
There are only 2 grocery stores in our tiny little town, a Safeway and a Walmart. Kind of limits your options.
Safeway has always been an expensive store, sometimes they have some awesome deals, but overall things are just over-priced. Sure they have their 4 doubler coupons in their weekly ads, along with some in-ad coupons and the Just4U program…but that doesn’t always help much.
Walmart seems like it would be easy to keep your costs down, but this one seems a bit off. Aside from some of the items appearing to cost more than they did in the larger city we moved from, they have a very limited selection…sort of like a mini-Walmart.
One of the reasons I wanted to get one of those gorgeous, huge french door refrigerators was to help us save money on our grocery bill. Having lots of room would allow me to stock up on items when I find a great deal. But that’s not so easy when the food seems to expire much sooner than it does in a larger city.
I’m assuming this is because of the lower population, which creates less of a demand. Therefore the stores order lower quantities so that items don’t go bad before they’re snatched up.
We knew that moving 30 miles away would mean our gas spending would shoot up. My husband already had quite a commute, now it’s even longer—meaning more gas than before.
On top of my honey’s work commute, there is also additional driving because of the lack of businesses in our little town. Also, some of the groceries we normally purchase just aren’t sold here, meaning I have to drive all the way to the city (30 miles each way) to get them. It’s probably about once a week that I need to drive out there for various items and services.
Apparently in our town, if you live 1 mile or less from your child’s school, the bus doesn’t come to you. So that means you have to either: drive your kid to school, have them walk or ride their bike alone or walk them yourself.
Our daughter is a big scardy-cat (which I take complete blame for), so her walking alone isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Plus I’m not so sure I would want her to walk with the Deliverance people skulking around and a pedophile living not too far away. Luckily, my husband leaves for work after her school starts, so I am able to use the car to drive her to school in the mornings. So there’s some more gas.
Then I just walk to the school to pick her up in the afternoon. It’s not going to kill me, but it would be nice to drive and get her, especially when it’s pouring or freezing cold out. I’ll live though.
I was really excited to find out that we had the option of choosing who we got our electricity through. We could stay customers of our previous utility company or switch over to the new local provider.
Of course I went online and compared their rates and was happy to discover that local provider was dramatically cheaper than our previous utility provider. Woohoo! That was definitely a nice bonus for us.
We do also have a wood-burning fireplace, so we could always buy some wood and burn it. That would also be nice in case the power ever goes out. But it costs a couple hundred bucks to get wood and it’s not really that much when you think about it.
This winter, we’re planning to rely on electric heat and see how much that costs us. If it’s cheaper than the price of buying wood, then we’ll stick to the heater. Still it would be nice to have a small amount of wood, just in case and for having fires every now and again.
Do you think it’s cheaper to use the fireplace more or stick with the heaters?
Is it possible that prices are higher here or am I just imagining it?